Free Speed - upgrade bike for marathons

Dear Trainer Road Forum,

I am looking to optimize my canyon slx 9.0 for cycling marathons; especially I am considering getting the following upgrades:

  • latex inner tubes
  • narrower handlebars (currently 42cm, looking to go to 40cm).

Are the upgrades worth the money and do you really save approx 4 watts per wheel with the inner tubes?

I look forward to an interesting discussion!


Why not tubeless?

Latex or tubeless are both good options but likely depends on your wheelset (tubeless compatible or not). Making sure you have a low rolling resistance tire, like the new Conti GP 5000’s will also be key.

I rode latex tubes with Conti GP 4000S II’s in 28c last year and the combo was great. Not a single flat all season and nice smooth riding at about 70 psi. Only downside is needing to pump up before every ride.

This year I’m planning to go tubeless with the new GP 5000’s, but the ship date for the TL version keeps getting pushed back.

Speed suit, aero helmet

Thanks for your answers.

I will be getting the new contis and innertubes. Any opinion on the narrower handlebars?

Helmet is already quite aero. Ski suit probably not an option I will go for.

For rolling resistance this site is awesome
Have you had a bike fit? You could save a lot more watts ensuring you are in a decent position that is aero but suitable for distance.

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They’ve mentioned this a lot, but what’s really slowing you down is you, so even a slightly better fitting kit will yield a lot more than the handlebars, same with what @Smurf said, position, if you can get the handlebars down a spacer that’s about the same as the narrower handlebars.

Aero shoe covers, trip socks, all those things are cheap and give a lot of benefit.

According to this guy who does rolling resistance testing - solely for speed you’re just as well off to run latex tubes in TL tyres (of course you don’t get the extra puncture resistance)
But also that other than those dangerous ones from Vittoria TL tyres aren’t faster yet

Thanks for your answers. I do not have tubeless ready rims, so that is not an option.

Stem is already slammed and I can keep the position (have raced a 550km race in this set-up)

Will have a look at shoe covers and possibly skin suit, depending on fit, etc.

Thanks for your responses

Why are they dangerous? I used them tubeless on a hed + disc and had no trouble

Kind of a joke but not … couldn’t find the Enve press release but you get the idea.

Ah I get it thanks :slight_smile:

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